Actor Camila Mendes opened up about a terrifying experience she endured during her college days. The Riverdale actor, who attended New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, shared that she was drugged and sexually assaulted during her freshman year, reported Us Weekly.
In her cover story for Women’s Health, the 25-year-old actor reflected upon the dark period in her life, explaining that she got her “to build a home” tattoo above her rib after that first year at college. “I got the tattoo after my freshman year,” she said in her interview with the magazine, referring to the tattoo above her rib.
“I had a very, very bad experience. I was roofied by someone who sexually assaulted me,” she added. The actor noted that the tattoo worked as a reminder to “strengthen both her sense of self and the environment around her.” Nowadays, when Mendes is going through a rough phase, she ponders about what she would do “physically for myself.”
“Whenever I feel like I’m going through something difficult, I think about what I can do physically for myself,” she explained. “I danced for seven years, from age 4 to 11. Then I did musicals as a kid, then so much of acting school is movement classes and connecting your breath to your body. Activity has always been an important part of my life,” she added.
However, Mendes also noted that it’s important to give your body rest, even if that means giving up a day in the gym. “People sometimes put working out first and don’t give their bodies rest. I’ll always choose sleep first. I think it’s just so underrated,” she shared.
The actor, who rose to fame playing Veronica Lodge on The CW series Riverdale, also addressed her struggles with bulimia in the cover story. “I’ve only recently gotten better,” Mendes said, adding that she’s been helped by professionals. “I needed professionals I trusted to tell me things that I didn’t know,” the ‘Perfect Date’ actor confessed.
Mendes, who has become a role model to so many fans, is helping those who follow her to speak out about their own struggles. “When I was a teenager, there were no role models when it came to body positivity–that simply was not a thing. Being thin was the thing,” Mendes shared.
Mendes said that she aims to be the type of role model she wished she had when she was growing up. “It’s health that’s important, not appearance. I make choices that are good for me–and not just in my body–but for my soul, for my mind. And sometimes that’s eating ice cream because I want to eat ice cream,” she said.
Last month, Mendes and her co-star Charles Melton, who plays Reggie on ‘Riverdale’, celebrated their first anniversary. Mendes told the magazine that she’s currently “living on such a high.”